News

Seven-year-old dead, manhunt continues

By Grant LaFleche, The Standard

Nathan Dumas, 7.

Nathan Dumas, 7.

It was a discovery no parent should ever have to make.

It was around 10:15 a.m Friday when Whitney Dumas said she entered her home on Queenston Street. She was met at the door by her ex-boyfriend Justin Kuijer, who had his bags packed and was ready to leave.

“I said to him, well let’s go inside and talk about arrangements for our kids. We have three kids,” said Dumas, who had been in a relationship with the man for nearly six years. “He asked for my keys to my van so he could go get a coffee. That’s when I went into the house and found my son.”

Dumas found her seven-year-old son Nathan Dumas, who is Kuijer’s stepson, critically injured.

She called 911. About 10-minutes later Niagara Regional Police responded to calls of a stabbing at the RBC at 211 Martindale Rd.

Shortly afterwards, police began a manhunt for Kuijer, 43, of St. Catharines, for attempted murder in connection to the bank stabbing. Police say Kuijer is considered armed and dangerous and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Nathan was taken to the St. Catharines hospital in critical condition. Dumas said her son died Saturday morning.

“He was the kindest little boy you’d ever meet. Everybody loved him,” said Dumas. “He was such an old soul.”

Dumas said a friend of Nathan’s lost an eye in an accident over a year ago, and received a donated eye.

“He had two different eye colours, so I had to explain to Nathan why that was. And he said to me, ‘Mom, that is what I want. If something ever happens to me, that’s what I want,’” Dumas said. “But we can’t do that because of the measures they took to try and save his life.”

Dumas’ apartment at 173 Queenston St. has been sealed by police as part of their ongoing investigation.

“I don’t have anything right now,” said Dumas. “I don’t have clothes for my kids. I don’t have clothes for me. My whole world has been ripped apart. I just want justice for my son and for that lady at the bank. I want him found.”

Friends of Dumas have launched a Go Fund Me campaign to help pay for Nathan’s funeral.

Police spokesman Const. Phil Gavin said police will not discuss how the circumstances that brought the boy to hospital and the stabbing at the bank are connected. However, late Saturday afternoon police confirmed that Nathan is the stepson of Kuijer.

The cause of Nathan’s death has not been released.

The NRP say a man entered the RBC around 10:25 a.m. Friday and stabbed a woman who works there. Police say the woman was deliberately targeted by her assailant, but are still trying to determine his motive.

The woman who was stabbed was taken to the St. Catharines hospital with serious injuries and then transported out of the region. Police said Saturday the woman is in stable condition.

The man left the bank and drove away in a grey 2009 Pontiac Montana van with the license plate BYTE392.

Along with holding scenes at the bank and the Queenston Street house, police were also at the St. Catharines hospital as a precautionary measure Friday.

Early Saturday morning, Dumas posted a photo of her van on Facebook, informing people her son had died and pleading for anyone with information to call police.

She said she doesn’t understand why anyone would hurt her son other than as a way to hurt her.

Police are asking anyone who knows the location of Kuijer or the van to call 911.

Kuijer is described as a white man, with a thin build, trimmed beard and longer dark hair. He was wearing a black toque, brown leather coat, dark pants, boots and an orange hoodie.

 

 



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